5 predictions for Michigan Football against Northern Illinois

Rick Osentoski-USA TODAY Sports
Rick Osentoski-USA TODAY Sports /
5 of 5
Rick Osentoski-USA TODAY Sports
Rick Osentoski-USA TODAY Sports /

Defense gets multiple turnovers, many hits on Rocky

Through two games, Michigan football fans have to be happy with the defense. Mike Macdonald’s unit is allowing just 12 points per game, 2.6 yards per rush attempt and 326 yards total.

Those are all great numbers. The one area that is lacking is takeaways. The Wolverines have only forced one turnover in two games. Michigan has notched five sacks but 3.5 of those are from Aidan Hutchinson, who was recently projected as the No. 2 overall pick in the 2022 draft.

The pass rush looked much better against Washington and I can see the Wolverines getting 4-5 sacks against Rocky and company on Saturday. And if that happens, you can expect U-M to get a couple of takeaways, including the first interception of the season.

So far, Macdonald looks like a great hire, but you can’t have a great defense without taking the ball away and that’s something this defense needs to do Saturday.

Score Prediction

The fact is that both teams want to center their offensive attack on the running game, which suits Michigan better in this matchup than Northern Illinois.

The Huskies will run the ball better than Washington did a week ago, but the Wolverines aren’t allowing a 100-yard rusher and Lombardi is going to get some payback from the guys who remember what he did last season with the Spartans.

Michigan’s pass offense will get more opportunities, which will in turn lead to more explosive plays. In terms of the spread, this one will be close but that’s going to be the only drama.

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Final score: Michigan 48, Northern Illinois 20